Oamaru’s gun young swimmers have returned from a major event with another bulging bag of medals.
The Oamaru Swim Club’s growing reputation as arguably the best junior club in the lower South Island was enhanced with a cracking performance at the Otago 12 and under championships in Dunedin
Moana Pool was a sea of white Oamaru swim caps as the club claimed 65 individual medals (29 gold, 19 silver and 17 bronze) from 126 races, and dominated the relays with gold and silver in freestyle and gold and bronze in medley.
As it was a long-course (50m) meet, times that swimmers took in to the event were converted from short-course, so Oamaru coach Narcis Gherca was satisfied with any personal-bests recorded, and there were plenty of those.
Among the leading Oamaru swimmers were Levi Heffernan (boys 10 and under), Morgan Baillie (boys 11 years), Elenoa Asi (girls 12 years) and Samuel Petrie (boys 12 years).
Heffernan claimed six gold medals (50m, 100m and 200m freestyle, 50m butterfly, 200m medley and 50m breaststroke) and a silver (50m backstroke), and recorded five personal-bests with biggest improvements of 10.30sec (200m medley) and 8.02sec (50m breaststroke).
Baillie also won six gold medals (50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke, 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke) and a silver (100m freestyle), and had two personal bests.
Asi won five golds (50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke, 200m and 400m freestyle) and a bronze (200m backstroke), posting four personal-bests.
Petrie won four golds (200m freestyle, 50m and 100m butterfly, 200m medley), two silvers (50m and 100m freestyle) and a bronze (50m backstroke), and recorded seven personal-bests with biggest improvements of 9.68sec (200m medley) and 4.24sec (100m butterfly).
Other good performers included Olli McDiarmid-Jones (boys 11 years, one gold, four silver, two bronze, seven personal bests with a biggest improvement of 17.56sec in 200m medley), Jorgia McDiarmid-Jones (girls 12 years, three gold, three silver, one bronze, four personal-bests with a biggest improvement of 22.75sec in 200m breaststroke), Imogen Keeling (girls 12 years, two gold, one silver, three bronze) and Deegan Croucher (girls 10 and under, two gold, three silver, one bronze).
Other medallists were Lloyd Fellowes (boys 11 years, one silver and three bronze), Neighton Fraser (boys 11 years, two silver), Kari Croucher (girls 12 years, silver and bronze), Hanna Strachan (girls 10 and under, two bronze), Maddison Phillips (girls 10 and under, bronze) and Jessie Bayley (girls 12 years, bronze).
In the mixed 12 and under relays, Jorgia McDiarmid-Jones, Asi, Keeling and Petrie won gold for Oamaru in both freestyle and medley.